While it is not my intent to make this a forum for commentary on the state budget, this year has been confusing, and I continue to field questions about what the political back-and-forth means for Conestoga Valley. I hope all of these issues are resolved soon, but for the moment, we have a state budget—but not all the funds we expect.
After three weeks writing about our state finances, it seems we finally have a budget in place for the remainder of this fiscal year. That means we can turn our attention to annual springtime activities in CV—and have some fun!
There may be another effort in Harrisburg to finally pass a state budget, even if the rhetoric remains at a fever pitch. Compromise is a great skill to model for our students, and I hope our leaders won’t let them down. That said, it is never too soon to begin discussing reforms to the process that will prevent this chaos from happening again.
This week the Pennsylvania School Boards Association took the unusual step of asking a court to intervene in the state budget stalemate. The Application for Special Relief asks the court to force the release of funds owed to schools immediately. Is this what it will take for our leaders in Harrisburg to compromise?
Even though I consider it a critical issue, I have not written about our state’s budget impasse for several months. The intransigence on all sides of the debate is frustrating, and our school life must go on. But there are storm clouds looming on the horizon.
The wild weather this week has me thinking spring. One of my favorite days of every school year is our Distinguished Alumni induction program, scheduled this year for May 6. We are preparing to honor four CVHS graduates who have achieved success and distinction in their careers and communities, and I hope you will help us continue this program by nominating others!
Thanks to parents and students for weighing in on our proposed calendar. We are always at our best when all stakeholders join the conversation on important topics! Our school board had a productive conversation on this issue Monday evening, and will consider it again on Feb. 16. I invited Dr. Mann to follow up on last week’s post to clarify two issues regarding testing, one as it relates to the proposed schedule and another regarding Keystone Exams at the high school.
My guest today is Dr. Donovan Mann, our director of secondary education. Dr. Mann is working with our staff team to develop the academic calendar for our 2016-2017 school year, which the board will approve at its second meeting in February. What they have in draft form may be surprising!
Building an academic calendar is a collaborative process, and we are guided by several principles. Obviously, we want to ensure our students attend school for the requisite number of days, scheduled around appropriate breaks and holidays. We also want to build in snow make-up days during the year, so a snowy winter does not push the end of school too far into June.
Volunteer service is alive and well at Conestoga Valley. Volunteers in Action (or VIA) is as energized as ever under the leadership of Katrina Krasinski, and our Parent-Teacher Organizations continue to do outstanding work on behalf of our schools. But January is a month to recognize a critical group of volunteers who are not always thought of as such.